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For immediate release
April 7, 2006

David Hogan, Center for Biological Diversity, (760) 809-9244

State utilities commission rules against SDG&E’s “Sunrise Powerlink” project

San Diego conservationists and communities celebrate early victory against unnecessary and harmful new transmission line

San Francisco, Calif. – The California Public Utilities Commission has issued an important first decision against San Diego Gas and Electric’s controversial proposed “Sunrise Powerlink” transmission line. The utilities commission decision means the loss of nearly four months of expensive company efforts to secure approval of the line.

The decision follows numerous formal filings with the utilities commission by conservationists, communities and consumer groups. The groups opposed SDG&E’s Powerlink application on the grounds that it omitted important information on route location, cost, and environmental impacts; that SDG&E’s proposed approval process would subvert public participation; and that it violated California environmental laws and commission rules.

Today’s utilities commission decision also follows recent changes in the project including SDG&E’s selection of a preferred route and a possible partnership with the Imperial Irrigation District and Citizens Energy Corporation, as well as the company’s announced intent to file an amended project application with the utilities commission in July 2007.

“Today’s decision is great news for anyone who cares about how the Powerlink threatens nature or their communities, said David Hogan, Director of the Urban Wildlands Program for the Center for Biological Diversity. “SDG&E’s push for special treatment during utilities commission consideration of the project has been rejected. Now the company owes its opponents and communities an apology for all the wasted time and distress that resulted from their attempted subversion of due process."

The Sunrise Powerlink is a major new electrical transmission line project from the Imperial Valley desert to the north coastal City of San Diego. Many have questioned the need for SDG&E’s proposed construction of a high-capacity segment of the project from near El Centro to Warner Springs when the company proposes smaller capacity lines from there to San Diego, and why the line would run so far north only to turn south to serve San Diego. SDG&E documents reveal an audacious master plan by the company to extend the high-capacity lines from Warner Springs to Orange County, thereby opening a larger California market for resale at top dollar of cheaply generated power from Sempra Energy’s fossil-fuel power plants in Mexico.

The utilities commission decision is available at:

Copies of SDG&E letters to the utilities commission are available upon request to:

For information, please visit the Center for Biological Diversity's Sunrise Powerlink website and, and


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